Known for its ethos of healthy fast food, we were delighted to be sent two of the latest additions in the Little Leon series of pocket-sized cookbooks: Lunchbox and Sweet Treats. This quick custard recipe from Sweet Treats is just one of a delicious selection of puddings, pies and cakes that feature. A staple of every 80s childhood and a favourite still today, it seemed to good not to share. If there’s one perk to colder weather, it’s this. Simply pour over a sticky crumble and watch the entire family smile.
MAKES : 600 ML • PREPARATION TIME : 5 MINUTES • COOKING TIME : 15 MINUTES • WF GF V
The perfect accompaniment for fruity puddings, this custard uses more cream than most recipes. By doing so, and – critically – heating the sugar with the cream, ratherthan adding it to the egg yolks, you remove the nervous stage of heating the custard over the hob and waiting for it to thicken – or, more often than not, scramble.
1 vanilla pod
500ml double cream
180g caster sugar
5 free-range egg yolks, at room temperature
1. Halve the vanilla pod lengthwise and put it into a pan with the cream, milk and caster sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring to make sure the sugar dissolves. Take off the heat and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, put your egg yolks into a blender and blend for 2 minutes, or until they go creamy. Add a small pinch of salt.
3. Bring the cream back to the boil, remove the vanilla pod, and pour the mixture slowly into the eggs, blending as you go.. Assuming that the cream was good and hot and the eggs not too cold you should be left with great not-too-thick custard. (If you want to make it thicker, heat it gently on the hob, but you shouldn’t need to).
Little Leon Sweet Treats is published by Conran Octopus. September 2015. £6.99. Buy the book from amazon.